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Osty, Dr Eugene - Supernormal faculties in Man – She was given a piece of volcanic tufa from Pompeii

Identifier

025423

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Supernormal faculties in Man- Dr Eugene Osty

Mr. William Denton, professor of geology, published in London in 1863 a book entitled Nature's Secrets, or Psychometric Researches, in which he gave his own experiments suggested by the work of Buchanan, a professor of anthropology, on the faculty called by him " psychometry " meaning by this term the faculty possessed by some persons of reconstituting past scenes by touching an object connected with them.

Mr. Denton had the good fortune to find in his sister, Mrs. Anne Denton Cridge, a remarkably good subject and one sufficiently educated to describe her visions accurately-.

After testing the -validity of her hyper-cognitions by using (like Buchanan) letters or familiar objects, by contact with which she described the appearance of the writer or possessor, his character, life, and surroundings, he conceived the idea of using this faculty on geological and, paleontological questions.

For this purpose he used -metallic fragments, minerals, fossils, and archaeological remains from various countries which his profession provided him with in plenty.

In numerous seances Mrs. Anne Denton, in contact with various objects, seemed to witness great scenes in geologic epochs and- in the life of primitive men, and prehistoric groups in different centres of civilization.

A single instance will give an idea of the working of the faculty. She was given a piece of volcanic tufa from Pompeii, all precautions having been taken that she should be in entire ignorance of-the nature and origin of the object. She said:….

A description of the experience

Supernormal faculties in Man- Dr Eugene Osty

"I see mural paintings-large frescoes which seem to decorate the walls of a comfortable house. . . Then I see . . . .a place pertaining to an ancient country and a time long past.

The time-impression is very clear. I perceive the detail of buildings of a past age. - . . The wings of the frontage towards the sea are flanked by square towers. I hear the swish of long curtains within the house, moved by the wind.

In front of me and to the left, at the end of an enclosure which looks like an inner courtyard, I see some obstacle whose nature I am trying to determine. It seems that this obstacle is a huge mountain, immediately contiguous to this house. Its summit is so high that I have to raise my head to see it. It seems to be a volcano, for now I see smoke coming from it, fiery stones, -and steam.

The violence of the eruption is such that from a distance it looks like a vast chimney which at a certain height flattens out, and extends over the whole country.

The mountain presents the appearance of an immense rounded sheath in which is a cavity of unknown depth. The orifice of the actual crater seems to me much smaller than the internal cavity. A second crater develops, and this, though smaller than the other, is much more active.

. . . I am now between-the two, and am ascending towards the higher of the two. . I hear thunders inside the mountain. From what depths does this terrible eruption come?

The impression I receive now is not the same as at first.. . . It seems strange that I should not have perceived this at first, for nothing can be compared to what is now given to my sight. The volume of ejected matter is terrible and passes all imagination. It is not lava, quite different, a growing black, inky cloud dropping huge black flakes over the whole country round.

I can hardly realize the reality of what I see; it seems so fantastical and unprecedented. It seems to me the work of destruction must be at its height, there is nothing left to be swallowed up. It shrieks like a tempest let loose, boils, and passes like whirlwind.

Now it seems as if torrents of boiling water are thrown out by the volcano; at first there was only-a gigantic eruption of scoria and burning stones but now great masses of boiling water flow down into the plain, sweeping away everything in their path-cinders, melted lava, and rocks- scooping out a ravine between the two craters.

What a devastation of this miserable country!

It is no mere earthquake, but an unprecedented cataclysm full of horror and irremediable. All the lower part of the mountain is buried under it, and the shroud of death extends for miles round.

The source of the experience

Denton, Professor William and Elizabeth

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Observation contributed by: Henry Ibberson